I write about my visit to the Musée Rodin in July 2004 with my nephews James and Michael on an earlier post. I had been to this museum a few times before that visit. The first visit, I was with another nephew, Ron, on a 3-week guided bus tour of Western Europe in Sep 1998. On the tour, we were with our tour group most of the time. In a few instances, we were given the option to be on our own. Ron and I decided to explore more of Paris on our own on the second day in Paris, in the afternoon. We had already seen the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre Museum, Arc de Triomphe, Sacre Couer, and many other sights of Paris with our tour group. On we went to explore more of Paris riding the Metro. One of the sights we wanted to see was this museum. We got off from the correct Metro stop. Getting to the museum from the subway stop was another story. We must have walked several miles looking for the museum. By the time we got to the entrance, it was already dark and the museum was closed.
This was truly one great example of exploring a city while getting lost. We were able to get spectacular views of Eiffel Tower from different vantage points. We walked along the grounds of the Les Invalides, home to France's military museum and Napoleon's mausoleum. We explored the Arc de Triomphe at night. And learning the Paris Metro, on the fly, proved to be a worthy experience for future visits. On the walk back to our hotel, we stopped at a small Chinese/Vietnamese restaurant for dinner -- eating rice and Chinese food was a welcome respite.
Ron and I got a second chance to visit four year later, late June 2002, with five other backpacking companions (Jim, Donna, Kris, Mek, and CJ). This time we arrived in plenty of time, in the early afternoon -- sufficient time to see the works of art inside the museum, as well as the sculptures around the museum grounds and gardens. This visit was also another cherished experience.
On our way, we met a jolly, older Parisian gentleman. He was a souvenir vendor on foot, merrily showing the various merchandise for sale. To get our attention, he would melodically sing "la la la". The museum was the place that Ron provided educational snippets on Rodin's life to a very gullible Mek, his younger brother. Mek listened intently as Ron, in a hushed tone inside the museum, explained the "secret" life of Rodin. Only later did Mek realized that none of what Ron told him was true. Mek was to bounce back as we had plenty of time to relax outside the museum grounds. Mek showed his "moving statue" dance moves on an empty sculpture platform.
The following are b&w photos during the June 2002 visit:
Rodin's the Thinker sculpture.
Rodin's the Gates of Hell sculpture.